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tv   BBC Newsnight  WHUT  June 10, 2012 8:00am-8:30am EDT

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♪ >> this is "bbc newsnight." funding for this presentation is made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. shell. and union bank. ♪ >> at union bank, our relationship managers use their expertise in global finance to guide you through the business strategies and opportunities of international commerce. we put our extended global network to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major
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corporations. what can we do for you? >> at shell, we believe the world needs a broader mix of energies. that is why we are supplying cleaner-burning natural gas to generate electricity. and it is also why, with our partner in brazil, shell is present -- producing ethanol, a biofuel made from renewable sugar cane. let's broaden the world's energy mix. let's go. ♪ >> broken banks and the jobless generation. spain and hints that it needs more help from europe but will not accept more austerity in return. our economics editor sports from spain were summer taking matters into their own hands, occupying empty houses and land speed records a combined banking and sovereign debt crisis for spain
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would be cheaper for greece to solve the bigger than lehman brothers that they fail to solve it. >> we hear from hungary or one midwife has defied the medical establishment by offering to pregnant women the option of giving birth at home. she is under house arrest. his work is praised worldwide, but his own government, he is a political irritant accused of tax evasion and much else. i will be speaking to the chinese author about his life and works. ♪ >> hello. europe's economic crisis now threatens even at the u.s. economy. that is according to the chairman of the federal reserve ben bernanke who spoke this week of the significant risks which the continent's problems posed to american growth. at the heart of the crisis is spain and its continuing banking problems. our economics editor paul mason has more.
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♪ >> the province of andalusia, the posh do weddings in style, and so do the protesters. here enacting the marriage of a corrupt state to f. failing bank. protesters heading pods and pans is common now, an echo of the revolt in argentina 10 years ago when it went bust. they tried to keep it light, but as the crisis hits, there is simmering anger. >> many people are losing their homes. people with children are now on the streets living from charities. >> spain's economy is in recession. many of its banks need a bailout fast. one in four adults is
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unemployed, and spain has become the test base of the european mantra of austerity. >> the irony is the banking crisis can be solid, albeit with large amounts of money. the real economy is shrinking fast. they're taking wages and pensions, and benefits of to shrink. but how low can it go? on any working as market in spain, most things are already just one or two euros. >> this block of luxury flats was empty for three years. its owner has gone bankrupt. now it has been occupied by people whose own homes were repossessed. these women were among the first to move in.
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they're not habitual rebels. >> that any of you ever think that you would be living in a squad? >> no. >> at first, the truth is, i was frightened, because i did not know what could happen. >> we are here to fight for a roof over our head. this is my house now. nobody can throw me out. let's see them try. >> the way it is going in this country, things are going to end badly. we will be biting each other just four a bit of meat. >> everywhere you go in spain, there is a small savings bank. now, many of them are booked. one bank alone, bankia, needs 24 billion euros to stay afloat. spain wants the eu to get taxpayers' money directly to these banks so their bad debt and market transferred onto the government's books.
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on the face of it, what could be more simple? the bailout the spanish bank's direct with eu government, bypassing the government, avoiding austerity, and fire walling spain from greece. what is the problem? that is the problem. this unfinished skyscraper was built by one bank, sold to another, and is now owned by e. the third. many in seville say it is a giant folly. as those who covered the story know, the cajas or political control. >> the cajas where banks who were used in the regular economic world but with a political background. so it is like getting politicians to hold your money. that. a caja. >> when the caja needs to be
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bailed out by 24 billion euros, where are the politicians? >> they are in the same place. >> do people recognize this? >> and maybe they should be answering some questions and may be on trial. >> europe does pump 100 billion euros of taxpayers' money into these banks, it would leave the political appointees who created the mess walking away unscathed, often with multimillion pay offs. rich.sia's land is but decades it was lived under developed. with eu membership came infrastructure, but it is a region where the state is the biggest employer, and the state is cutting back. this farm had been abandoned. now it has also been occupied by members of the land workers
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union and their supporters. >> the crisis happened because the majority of people who worked in the countryside left to work in the construction boom. only a few stayed behind, and abroad in migrant labor in machinery to help with crops. then the property boom collapsed and all those people who left came back to the land. >> this is as much a political gesture as an economic one. land occupations were the scene of some of the bloodiest even sign the civil war in the 1930's. >> i believe it will all end with occupations. farms, apartments, and factories, because there is no other way. because they are closing everything and not giving us a chance to work. do we have to go on the streets? we have to fill the city centers and occupied the land, because nobody is going to give us anything.
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>> for now, what is holding spain together is its strong social bonds, family, religion, tradition, the welfare system, the minimum wage. the statute depicts our lady of hope, but for many of these young people hope is all they got. 51% of spaniards under the age of 24 are unemployed. >> we are following the wrong path. the problem is not public deficit. it is unemployment. the more we strangle public spending, the more we damage our chances of recovery. we need to recover confidence and increased consumption. it is a vicious circle. what we need is a system like the new deal. we're condemning spain to a lost decade like japan had.
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>> for now, for some it is free, and some as much of the catch it, but this is a wasted generation, and it is dawning on them things could get worse before they get better. a combined banking and sovereign debt prices for spain would even now be cheaper than greece to solve, but bigger than lehman brothers that it failed to solve it. that is why spanish people are scared. what they're scared of the above all is that, like in greece, the delicate social and political balance they thought would last for good it comes to suddenly to an end. >> paul mason reporting. now, the practice of giving birth at home is as old as human history. in recent years, it has enjoyed renewed popularity here in britain and other parts of the world. but in eastern europe, it is not so easy and is actively discouraged by the medical establishment and authorities. in hungary, and result, home
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birth was all but illegal, so one independent midwife agnes gereb has taken huge risks attending women at home. she has spent time in prison and is now under house arrest. nick thorpe is a friend of agnes gereb and has campaigned on her behalf. this is his personal view of the case. >> >> a film about the birth of my second son matthew. he, like all my five sons, was born here in our fight in budapest. each birth was such a good, safe, positive experience. that is why we have had so many children that was very much thanks to the work of one brave, pioneering and geary and midwife, agnes gereb -- the
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hungarian midwife. like many other couples who have given birth, she is something like a second mother to our children. but 15 years on from manthey's birth, the hands that delivered our baby are tied. she has been ostracized from the medical profession, sentenced to two years in prison, and banned from doing the work she loves. >> win agnes gereb appeared in the courtroom behind me, the judge in justifying her sentence said this is a woman that hon. society needs to be protected from. what did she do wrong, and how well her fate affected future of birth in eastern europe? >> agnes gereb has been under
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house arrest for the past 16 months, awaiting trial successfd over 3000 babies. but whenever a home birth ended up in hospital, an investigation was launched. and when tragedy struck in september 2007 and a baby died in childbirth, she was found guilty of negligence. >> i did not commit malpractice, but i could have been much more skillful. i wish so much i had been better. until now, whenever the particular complication was in my practice, i could solve it. that time, i failed. it is a huge turmoil for me as well as the little girl's family. i will always think of them on september 15. >> y resentenced then if you made no mistakes? -- y. resentenced? >> their approach to me was not
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benevolent from the start of the hungarian medical experts to give evidence that the trial looked at what happened exclusively from the perspective of hospital practice. they tried to transplant and obstetricians behavior in the birthing word on to the midwife at a home birth. you cannot do that. these two completely different professions. >> more than 99% of hunt. babies are born in hospitals. simply assisting at a home birth could result in prosecution until last year. and a leading body of the profession remains totally opposed to it. and geary and doctors are proud of low neonatal death statistics comparable to those in western europe -- and geary and doctors. >> at the delivering a baby at the hospital is much safer for the baby and even for the mothers. maybe 90% of deliveries go on without complication. but if there is any publication,
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if there is a serious publication, then is much safer in a hospital. the important thing for us for obstetricians in hungary is the safety of the baby and the mother. >> neither this doctor nor any members of the board of obstetricians would be drawn on the case of their former colleague agnes gereb. she was once a part of this world, an obstetrician in a top university clinic, before quitting to set up as an independent midwife, attending mothers and delivering babies at home. >> i can best explain my switch from being a doctor to being a midwife with two words -- the quality and presence. to be really there for the woman and to really share in her joy. when a woman thinks me after a berth for my help, i always want to say, no, thank you for letting me be here with you.
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there's something very adamant and also so universal which a midwife shares with a mother and a baby -- something very intimate. >> they gave birth to their baby girl exactly two years ago at home, attended by agnes gereb. the baby had a streptococcus infection, which can cause brain damage or death. an ambulance was called in the prosecutor, not the parents, sued agnes gereb for negligence. the baby and her mother are fine. >> the main thing for me was not the place of birth of my children but that i'd be treated as an adult for the pregnancy and birth. that i can decide about my own child and i am intelligence enough. that is what i got from agnes gereb. others give me the impression they wanted to save the baby from me.
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>> hungary is deeply divided over agnes gereb. many share my view that this is one woman's battle for a philosophy and practice of birth care. others regard her as a dangerous and reckless witch. the government has already taken one important step. last year, they put home berth on the legal footing for the first time. now the president is considering whether to exult its leading practitioner of the crimes for which she was convicted and grant agnes gereb clemency. last year, your government regulated home birth for the first time in hungary. would it not be strange to first allow something and then send them to prison, the best known
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practitioner? >> we have to make a strict division here between what the court of law decided and with the government did. as a government, we recognize that it was illegal, so we regulated it. that obviously has no retrospective purse -- aspect on the criminal proceedings, it is true that if agnes gereb had not drawn public attention, the possibility of father's been present at birth first, and now two out of hospital birth, then our regulation might not have been born. >> in hospitals, though opposition is the bridge a home birth. hon darien parents expected a least a month wages to an obstetrician in gratitude for the safe birth of their child. midwives are sidelined. it gives a strong financial incentive to doctors to maintain status quo. >> statistics show that the
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public regards the health-care system as the most corrupt, and you cannot change it overnight. one cause is the doctors wages are so low, and the health budget is not capable of doubling or tripling their wages. >> four times a day, the police check on agnes gereb. after 32 years attending births, at that time in hospital, half at home births, it has been a claustrophobic, deeply frustrating experience, to be cooped up here, not even allowed out to the art. >> why are you fighting, and what are you fighting for? >> if no siding for anything, then yes refighting for peace. if children are born in an undisturbed way, they will be more peaceful. what do i want to achieve? let everyone be allowed to do with their good at. i think i am get at attending
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home birth, and i wanted to be available for everyone who wants it. >> agnes gereb, the first children andrea and i have would almost certainly haveeen by cesarean, and then we almost certainly will not have had five. so i can say without exaggeration that jack and casper 0 their lives to agnes gereb. >> for more families, not just here in hungary but across eastern europe, to get the kind of support during birth that we had would mean something akin to a revolution about are the authorities willing to shake up the maternity wards and take on the medical profession? >> that decision lies in the hands of the president. any day now, he will have to decide whether to grant agnes gereb clemency. the present hon carian --
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government in hungary has looked port internationally, but freeing her would be a blow to the doctors and the justice system which found her guilty. >> nick thorpe in budapest. for the past thorough job of -- 12 years, a design for a summer pavilion in london, this year to mark britain hosting the olympics intimate -- shows the team responsible for beijing's famous city. the artist -- we have a rear exclusive interview with a minor moment. use famous in britain for his installation of 100 million sunflower seeds at the tate modern gallery in london, and perhaps more well known for his strong and outspoken criticism at the chinese government. his art is under severe pressure. >> the lower level of the pavilion of more than a meter deep in the earth is mined incork, a nod to the archaeology
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of the 11 predecessors below, while the roof is filled with a shallow pool of water, creating a mirror of the london sky. the artist was absent from the building and unveiling of his work, and as a result of problems back home, he may never -- never see his creation in london. >> as a result of his criticisms of the chinese government, ai weiwei is under constant surveillance and cannot leave beijing. about a year ago he was arrested and held for three months on charges of tax evasion. the most creative and most restrictive of artists contributed to this extraordinary project by using site. >> the pavilion's architect sir, he says, is not only about space and shave, but about the circumstances we find ourselves in, our mental state, and our
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political background. another chinese government critic of the blind activist jan guangcheng, has fled the country and taken up academic post in the united states. he said he believed the chinese premier was slowly moving in the right direction on human rights, largely as a result of the internet and twitter. but he said this from the freedom of exile. >> the power of social media is something ai weiwei deploys in his protests against the chinese authorities. they come in term, limit and center his activity. under such restrictions, i asked him whether there was any chance he could come to london to see his work. >> i would like to come to london to be able to see if it as an architect. we are responsible to what we have been intending to do. also, we would like to see how other people enjoying or
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criticize it. but, of course, my current condition is not allowing me to travel. >> what is your current condition? what is life like for you every day? >> [laughs] mike current condition -- my current condition for myself is not very clear. it is funny to say i still live in kind of house arrest stage. but kind of probation, but i never really faced a formal arrest or formal accusation. that is my current condition which forbids me to travel. my action has been carefully watched by authorities.
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my phone is tapped. all my activities are regulated. >> a do you think the west is doing enough to encourage these trends in china, or is the west frightened to speak out because of china's economic power? >> yes, this is a very clear phenomenon, but also, west should remember to promote, to protect the basic rights and insisting on human rights. >> chen guangcheng said in new york yesterday he was optimistic that things would get better in china. do you share his optimism? >> we all share the same hope. we think china is changing and
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is going to be changing more dramatically. but i do not think any state can sacrifice the very essential way, like freedom of expression or freedom of communication, to achieve real social development. we can see china today still lacking of creativity, lacking of real competition, and trying to get its profit from a very short-sighted act, which is not going to be long-lasting result. >> as no, at jan guangcheng has
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left china. are you going to remain -- as you know, it chen guangcheng as with china. >> i am still chinese. i still want to solve the problem here. >> despite the difficulties you face every day? >> yes, those difficulties sometimes are variable, but still, it gives some meaning to be here. those typical these are not only to me, but also to a lot of people here. >> ai weiwei the, and that is all for this week. >> funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. union bank. and shell. >> at shell, we believe the
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world needs a broader mix of energy is. that is why we're supplying cleaner-burning natural gas to generate electricity. and it is also why, with our partner in brazil, shell is producing ethanol, a by a fuel made from renewable sugar cane. led to broaden the world's energy mix. let's go. >> "bbc newsnight" was presented by kcet los angeles.
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